“Areli” is a Bible name meaning "Light and vision of God". It reflects the concept of looking for answers from God and running the business in a Christian manner.
Areli Veg was founded in August 2012 on the Klipkop farm in the Patensie, Kouga District. The business was launched out of necessity and hardship due to drought and floods in their rural area, which forced Sarisa Ferreira, 2008 Paralympian, to earn an income to help keep their farm that the family was living on.
What started out as a small idea rapidly grew into a fully-fledged industry through contracts (to supply vegetables on a permanent basis), and that would employ no fewer than 30 people in a years’ time. Areli Veg is a brand new business started in order to create jobs for women and disabled woman, who are unemployed in Patensie, Eastern Cape. The packing business generates income for the existing farm, and creates more job opportunities for the surrounding farms and community that will deliver vegetables to the packing warehouse. Areli Veg specialises in pre-packing fresh vegetable and fruit lines for markets such as Pick n Pay, Readyfresh and Freshmark (to name but a few).
Training are provided freely to workers to improve their work performance, and to equip them with the necessary skills needed. Sarisa is the owner and manager and will continuously provide training in food hygiene, safety procedures, first aid and quality control procedures.
The packinghouse focuses on creating sustainable jobs for unemployed previous disadvantaged people from the surrounding rural area. Staff adhere to quality control and hygiene systems, using up-to-date technology.
Local farmers supply their vegetables to the packinghouse and Areli Veg then checks the quality, pack and label the produce and use cool storage. Areli Veg delivers to suitable markets, and transport it to the chosen destination. The local farmers that supply the packinghouse is sourced from people who share the same passion and understanding of the necessity and importance in obtaining the finest quality fruit and vegetables using the best technology to create a faster more productive process. This is in keeping with the company's ethic to accept only the finest quality products (while providing business in the impoverished rural area at the same time).
Areli Veg aim to contribute to a clean environment by using only natural grown raw materials and use production processes that are eco-friendly. The Areli Veg packaging materials used by Areli Veg during the packing process are biodegradable and are environmentally friendly – being natural products. The Areli Veg products pre-packed by Areli Veg also carries the Global Gap accredited brand which confirms the quality of the fruit and vegetables.